Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Hello April_Project Homecoming Field report by Sara Skjerli

We dance even if there’s no radio. We drink at funerals. We talk too much and laugh too loud and live too large and, frankly, we’re suspicious of others who don’t.”

Chris Rose


The longer I live in New Orleans the more I acclimate. I have taken to using my car horn in traffic, moaning that a ten minute drive to the West Bank is literally going to break the bank because it is so far, having ‘rain days’ (acclimate weather is a real thing down here!) layering up in my warmest clothing when the temperature drops (anything below 68 degrees F is parka weather), and bopping around to the sounds of amazing street music (or my roommate trying to perfect the ukulele). I even bought a sun hat… sun hat1   With the onset of some beautiful weather and daylight savings, the days are longer! It is a great feeling to get home from work in the sunlight. We were luck enough to have the chance to dog sit for a night and got to ride the Ferry to Algiers Point. It was definitely a beautiful view! The boat ride is only 10 minutes and costs $2.00 per ride, but for a quick exploration trip, it is worth it! There are some quaint eateries and bars across the river and a stellar view from the boat!


New Orleans City scape from the Ferry Boat

Another new and exciting feat can be summed up in two words and three and one half months… CRAWFISH SEASON! From early March through mid June these tiny lobster like crustaceans rule the food scene in New Orleans. Each week there are boils, parties, and delicacies galore. Due to the nature of the beast, and the fact that I am on a strict gluten free diet (and you never can tell down here) my awesome roommate proposed the idea of us having our own crawfish boil! That way we wouldn’t have to worry about any reactions from contamination or gluten. We feasted on a little over eight pounds of crawfish and it was delicious!

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With the warm weather also comes the start of a busy summer season here at Project Homecoming. We have identified all but two of our affordable rental units and are hoping to wrap up our first round of acquisitions by the end of this week. It is very exciting to be a part of this new venture, and since I have decided to be the Project Homecoming VISTA again next year, hopefully I will get to see the first round of this project through! So if you or anybody you know has property, with or without a home on it, that y’all would like to donate to Project Homecoming Affordable Rental Program please contact me via my email or by phone 504.208.1636.  In addition to wrapping up my preliminary research on affordable rentals in historic tax credit zones, I have also been flyering away in order to promote our new construction homes in the Pilotland Neighborhood and Filmore Gardens.  This past Saturday I represented Project Homecoming at the Central City Community Health Festival.

There were so many other organizations there, including Women With a Vision!

To wrap up, this past month has flown by in a whirlwind of flyering, festivals, hard work, and volunteer opportunities. I am excited to continue to acclimate, explore, and make the most of the muggiest, hottest summer of my life.



This entry was posted on August 17, 2016 by in VISTA Field Reports.



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